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review 2017-10-19 18:43
pretence and anger
The Governess Heiress (A Year of Scandal) - Elizabeth Beacon

I think this would have been just as good a story without the secondary mystery (your mileage may vary)


Miss Eleanor Hancourt was living as Nell Court as a governess, escaping family scandal and predatory fortune hunters, taking the best care she can of her employer's wards when she bumps into a man she assumes is the new estate manager, he's actually the Earl of Barberry, her employer, but he goes with the fiction to find out more about his estate.  Along the way they fall for each other but both have issues with the other finding out who they are, can the love survive the truth.


And then there's the treasure subplot that just didn't really add to the story.  The ending of it was all wrapped up way to easily as well and I felt like there were parts missing when the villains were confronted, it felt quite rushed.  Not a bad read, has potential.

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text 2015-04-27 15:41
The D Word: Divorce in Historical Romance
Cry For Passion - Robin Schone
The Bride Says No - Cathy Maxwell
Wild Oats - Pamela Morsi
One Wicked Sin - Nicola Cornick
Tallie's Hero - Sara Luck
Enchanted Afternoon - Susan Wiggs
Scandal of the Year - Laura Lee Guhrke
The Lawman Takes A Wife - Anne Avery
Impulse - Candace Camp
The Bedding Proposal: The Rakes of Cavendish Square - Tracy Anne Warren


It takes a brave hero or heroine to escape the the horror of breaking covenants- infideilty, abadonment, addiction, neglect, belittlement, cruelty, abuse through divorce before this century and the last. 


For you history buffs, check out this great article The Heartbreaking History of Divorce


Here are some wonderful Historical Romacne Novels where the hero or herorine is divorced or seeking one and the HEA is with a new love. 


My lists are never in any particular order. 


1. Enchanted Afternoon by Susan Wiggs


Beautiful, charming and respected as the wife of an ambitious senator, Helena Cabot Barnes is the leading lady of Saratoga Springs. But beneath the facade lies a terrible deception. Helena married for all the wrong reasons – and discovered too late that her husband is a dangerous man. Fearing for her safety, she ends her marriage and flees to legendary Moon Lake Lodge, where she creates a refuge for other women in need of a safe haven. And there she finds the courage within to become the woman she was meant to be. 


But Helena can’t outrun her past. 


In desperation, she turns to Michael Rowan, a man she once loved, a man who broke her heart. A brilliant inventor, Michael is still ruggedly handsome, still defiantly unconventional. For Helena, the road to trusting Michael again is long and hard. And danger lies ahead. But Michael has just discovered a shattering truth... and a reason to stay and fight for the woman he once lost.



2. Cry For Passion by Robin Schone


Married twelve years to a man who does not desire her, Rose Clarring is dying of loneliness. She seeks the help of renowned barrister Jack Lodoun to challenge English Parliament and win her a divorce. Cynical and haunted by personal tragedy, Jack will only take the case if Rose can prove to him that there exists a passion that supersedes marital vows.

And so meeting by meeting...touch by touch...the two embark on a journey of discovery that leads to intimacies neither could have imagined: sex that knows no sin; love that has no limitations; a carnal bond which heals both grief and guilt. Together Rose and Jack will explore the ultimate in pleasure, but what must they sacrifice to claim the passion they so desperately desire?


3. The Bride Says No by Cathy Maxwell


What happens when a bride says no? 


He is the bastard son of a duke, arrogant, handsome, a little bit dangerous, and, of course, one of the most sought-after bachelors in London. He is also about to be publically jilted by some chit of a girl! Blake Stephens' pride isn't about to let him be humiliated, so he charges after his bride to the wilds of Scotland, determined to bring her to the altar.


What happens when the heart says yes? 


He is promised to one woman, but discovers his soul stirred by . . . the chit's sister! Lady Aileen Davidson's reputation was ruined ages ago, which is why she's buried herself in the country, but her fiery spirit and bold beauty threaten to bring Blake to his knees, making him wonder if he has proposed to the wrong lass.


And now he must make a choice: marry for honor . . . or marry for love?


4. Wild Oats by Pamela Morsi $2.99! 


Territory bachelor, Jedwin Sparrow, was merely hoping to sow some wild oats. And from what he’d heard, a logical place to start might be the cottage of Mrs. Cora Briggs, a notorious divorcee. 

Cora’s first instinct was to slap his face! Then a better plan occurred to her. Why not call the tune and string him along. What better way to exact revenge on those gossipy hens than to ensnare one of their own in that wicked web of lies. 

An unexpected love story, two people who discover the truth about themselves within the heart of each other.


5. One Wicked Sin by Nicola Cornick

Once the toast of the ton, Lottie Cummings is now notorious for being divorced. Shunned by society, the destitute beauty is lured to become a Covent Garden courtesan. Until a dangerous rake saves her with a scandalous offer.

The illegitimate son of a duke, Ethan Ryder rose to the ranks of Napoleon's most trusted cavalry officer—until his capture landed him in England as a prisoner of war. Now on parole, Ethan is planning his most audacious coup yet. But he needs Lottie's help to create a spectacular diversion. Yet their pact ignites a passionate bond that may scandalize even these two wicked souls….


6. Tallie's Hero by Sara Luck


wept up in adventure . . . 

With nothing left for him in Texas after his fiancée breaks his heart, Jeb Tuhill heads to Wyoming’s Big Horn Mountains to work the huge ranching operation of wealthy English squire Moreton Frewen. In an attempt to lure investors to the beautiful, and oftentimes dangerous, American West, Frewen and Jeb travel to England. The British gentry don’t impress Jeb much, but one spirited lady lassoes his attention with her intellect and charm. 

Bound together by passion . . . 

Tallie Somerset is a bestselling novelist who is forced into a divorce by the improprieties of her husband, a British lord. Fleeing the scandal, she takes a trip to New York with a friend who later convinces her to travel to Wyoming. Captivated by the big sky of the plains—and the handsome cowboy who calls it home—Tallie might be persuaded to leave England, and its bad memories, behind. But Jeb thinks she is still married, and she is afraid to tell him about the shame of her divorce. Tallie models the hero of her latest novel on Jeb . . . but can she make him her hero for a lifetime?


7. Scandal of the Year by Laura Lee Guhrke


One tryst was all she wanted . . .


From their very first meeting, Julia knew that Aidan Carr, the oh-so-proper Duke of Trathen, had a bit of the devil in him, a devil who secretly yearned for what he could not have, a devil who harbored a desire for her. So when she needed to be caught in a compromising situation, Aidan was the answer to her prayers.


One tryst just wasn't enough . . .

Aidan is supposed to be looking for a bride, yet his scandalous liaison with Julia is all he can think about. Hot, erotic memories of kissing her skin, falling into her bed, pulling her naked body on top of his own continue to torment and tempt him. What is it about this brazen seductress that he finds so hard to resist? And how can he stop himself from falling into her bed a second time?


8.The Lawman Takes a Wife by Anne Avery


Sheriff DeWitt Gavin was quite an assortment of surprises to merchant Molly Calhan. Saddled with a scandalous past and a giant-size sweet tooth, he also had a truly giving heart. Now if only she could convince him to give his heart to her…!


Witt Gavin had enough to handle, being the new lawman in a town rife with gossip and kids convinced bank robbers were hiding down every alley. His one daily treat was a visit to Molly Calhan's candy counter. But was it the confections that drew him—or the sweet shopkeeper herself?


9. Impulse by Candace Camp


Torn from the arms of the woman he loved and cast into the night by her highborn family, Cam Monroe vowed revenge on those who had wronged him.

Fifteen years later, after amassing a small fortune of his own, Cam returns to England with but one ambition. Now the power is his, power to ruin the Stanhope family if they refuse his demands. And what he demands is simple: that Angela Stanhope be his wife.

Then the mysterious "accidents" begin. Are the Stanhopes trying once again to remove him from their lives? Or is it someone from Cam's past, someone desperate enough to kill to prevent him from uncovering a shocking lie?


10. The Bedding Proposal by Tracy Anne Warren


Lord Leo Byron is bored with the aristocratic company he keeps; he needs a distraction, preferably in the form of a beautiful new female companion. So when he sets eyes on fascinating and scandalous divorcée Lady Thalia Lennox, he’s determined to make her intimate acquaintance. But the spirited woman seems to have no intention of accepting his advances no matter how much he chases—or how hard he falls....

Once a darling of Society, Thalia Lennox now lives on its fringes. The cruel lies that gave her a notoriously wild reputation have also left her with a broken heart and led to a solemn vow to swear off men. Still, Leo Byron’s bold overtures are deliciously tempting, and, for the first time, she finds herself wondering whether it just might be worth the risk to let the attractive rake into her life—and her bed....



Have a recommendation? Let me know!


Vote for the best of the best on my Goodreads list:  The D Word: Divorce in Historical Romance 

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review 2013-12-17 14:19
Review: Scandal of the Year by Laura Lee Guhrke
Scandal of the Year - Laura Lee Guhrke


The second book in the Abandoned at the Altar series, Scandal of the Year lets us follow the tale of my two favorite people from the first book, Julia and Aiden. I didn't really like the first book all that much, but was still excited to read this. The two characters were already interesting and I was curious on how they would be developed further. 

I read this book in a day, yet I needed the extra days to really digest everything. It was engaging to see how the story unfolded. It wasn't in a linear fashion, but instead we were told the relevant facts in the beginning (in the summary even) and then as we watched the characters develop and grow, we were shown things that happened prior providing an interesting juxtaposition between past and present. Outside of that, the story was just interesting! 

I really enjoyed where Guhrke took these characters. She didn't change who they were in the first book as so often happens when secondary characters get books of their own, but just expanded what we already knew. The growth and arc Julia and Aiden experienced individually and as a couple worked. It wasn't too little or too much. It just worked. 

I really think that if I had to sum up the book in a sentence, it would be "It just worked." 

Though you may notice that it only has for stars. I can hear, "But wait! If it just worked, why only four stars?" There were some moments that I thought were a little long during the flashbacks. Also, the last book was summarized in thought about 4 times (as well as at least one other previous Gurhke book) and this just rubbed me the wrong way. It was a little too strange for me to hear one character summarize another book in dialogue with the person who supposedly lived it. 

But overall it still 'just worked.'

Originally posted on GR in Jan 2011
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review 2013-09-27 00:00
Scandal of the Year: Abandoned at the Altar
Scandal of the Year - Laura Lee Guhrke Started out good but kind of petered out. I was skimming heavily by the end.
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review 2013-02-12 00:00
Laura Lee Guhrke's "Scandal of the Year"
Scandal of the Year - Laura Lee Guhrke

The hero of the story is a fine man, but the heroine - she's supposed to be tortured and troubled. Only problem is, she's brought all of her troubles onto herself (divorce, horrible husband, huge debts) and compounded them through her own carelessness and thoughtlessness. Even though she is supposed to have charm in spades, I finally decided that I really didn't like her at all - besides being a mooch who lives off her friends and family (and I have no idea how she could pay her servants any wages), she has no visible redeeming qualities to her character. I just couldn't see a lasting happy ending for the story, because of the heroine's flaws.

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